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“Most people don’t have a money problem. They have a management problem.”

Every month, Discover Financial Services takes the pulse of consumer spending. The company polls 500 consumers daily and 8,200 monthly to get snapshots of consumer confidence and spending intentions. In its latest findings, 55 percent of consumers felt that their personal finances were getting worse. That was two points lower than the September survey. Forty-two percent said they would have no money left over after they paid their bills, also down two points from September.

Even accounting for the difficulty that people are having because of a bad economy, many folks would still be having financial trouble because they don’t save or spend wisely. The fact is it takes time, effort and persistence to be financially prudent.

It also takes access to good and unbiased information. So for this month’s Color of Money Book Club, I’m recommending “Clark Howard’s Living Large in Lean Times: 250-Plus Ways to Buy Smarter, Spend Smarter and Save Money” (Avery, $18). Howard hosts both a nationally syndicated radio program and a television show on HLN. In 1993, he founded a consumer action center, which is staffed with volunteers who answer consumer questions.


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